Watch out: sometime soon you may see a citizen scientist checking on the health of a creek in your neighborhood!
Earlier this month, over 20 people gathered at Lorimer Park to participate in Streamkeeper training for the Pennypack and TTF Watersheds. Streamkeepers are citizen monitors who devote time every month to record data at a site in one of these two watersheds. These volunteers will work with TTF and PERT to combine their efforts with others to generate a report card for the watershed.
The Streamkeepers program is part of the TTF and Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust (PERT) partnership funded through the William Penn Foundation‘s Delaware Watershed Conservation Program. Through this effort, we will implement stream restoration and green infrastructure projects and inform municipal stormwater permits and public investments, using monitoring data gathered through aligned, science based efforts.
As an icebreaker, the group introduced themselves, including their motivations for becoming Streamkeepers. The students were already equipped with lots of knowledge and experience. Biologists, educators, chemists, fishermen, and curious citizens who grew up in the Pennypack and TTF bring decades of local stream awareness to this new water monitoring program.
“I’m a member of the League of Women Voters, as well as the Sierra Club, so of course I wanted to become a Streamkeeper,” said Roberta Brunner of Jenkintown. She and other Streamkeepers bring their own unique skills.
The class visited the banks of the Pennypack to assess the health of the stream. They discussed creek issues that have impacted them as residents, and compelled them to help monitor the stream. Many have seen an increase in development, as well as flooding that has changed their natural landscapes and neighborhoods.
After completing training on how to set up a monitoring site and collect data, the newly formed team all signed their “Streamkeeper Pledge.”